Definitive Guide to Printer Type 

Nov 14, 2022Blog Posts0 comments

Through our daily life experience we are familiar with various types of printer. But all of the printer types and mechanism are not known to us. Now we are going to in depth knowledge about printer all type of printer and how they works.

printer type

What is a Printer?

A printer is a hardware output device that can print any document to hard copy. A document can be any kind, including an image, a text file, or a combination of the two. To print documents, it accepts input commands from computer users or other devices. 

For instance, if you are required to submit a project report at your college, you must create a soft copy and print it using the printer. One of the most common computer peripherals is a printer. There are two types: 2D printers and 3D printers. Text and graphics can be printed on paper with a 2D printer, while 3D objects can be made with a 3D printer.

Types of Printer

While there are many different kinds of printers, inkjet and laser printers, are the two most widely used today. The following is a list of all the different kinds of printers:

  • Inkjet Printers
  • Laser Printers
  • 3D Printers
  • LED Printers
  • Solid Ink Printers
  • Dot Matrix Printers
  • Multifunction or All-in-One Printers
  • Thermal printers
  • Plotter

Inkjet Printer

Characters are printed by spraying ink onto paper using magnetic plates, and it is widely used by home and business computer users alike. It has a print head, stabilizer bar, and belt, paper feed assembly, and ink cartridge. 

It uses separate cartridges to print a variety of colour documents and stores the ink in cartridges. Black and cyan, magenta, yellow, and other colours make up these hues. With the help of vivid colours, these kinds of printers can produce pictures of high quality.

In addition, in comparison to other printers, inkjet printers are less expensive and simpler to operate. In addition to being the most common personal printer in offices, inkjet printers are also the most common type of printing device in homes. 


The widespread use of inkjet printers can be attributed to two primary factors: low cost and outstanding image quality that is comparable to or better than that of conventional photographic film. Numerous high-precision microscopic nozzles that eject ink onto the paper form the heart of an inkjet printer. The typical diameter of these nozzles is approximately 10 micrometres or one-tenth of a human hair.


 A home inkjet printer typically has thousands of nozzles, with several hundred for each ink colour. In order to achieve consistent and uniform ink drop volume, which is necessary for consistent and uniform colour density on the page, the diameter of each of these nozzles is fabricated with sub-micrometer accuracy. Electroforming, laser ablation, anisotropic etching, and photolithography are just a few of the precision micro-fabrication methods utilized in commercial production for ink jet nozzles. 


In order to precisely control their relative positions, all of the nozzles on the carriage are typically formed in a single fabrication step for each colour of ink. This is necessary to produce a uniform print without banding. In some instances, all of the ink nozzles for each colour are formed simultaneously. 


Each of the nozzles is made by cutting an orifice through a single material’s planar sheet. The compatibility of this material with the chosen method of fabrication is the primary consideration.


On a moving carriage assembly that moves back and forth across the paper at a high velocity (typically greater than one meter per second), the ink jet nozzles are all mounted together. The ink ejection velocities range from five to 10 meters per second, and the nozzles are mounted approximately 1 mm from the paper. When a pulse of pressure is applied to the fluid ink in the supply tube upstream of a nozzle, ink is ejected. This pressure pulse can be made in one of two common ways: piezoelectric and a thermal bubble.


A photoimageable polymer is used in the thermal bubble method to create ink channels on the surface of a planar substrate. A metallic film resistive layer with a thickness of less than one micrometer is used to form a small heater in the wall of the ink channel that connects each nozzle. 


Such a heater typically has a square shape with 10 to 20 micrometers on each side. A pulse of electrical current that lasts about one microsecond is passed through the heater resistor by means of connections made of low resistance thin film metallic conductors that are attached to two sides of the resistor.


The purpose of this electrical current’s amplitude is to sufficiently heat the resistor to cause the ink to boil. Nearest to the resistor, a thin layer of ink (about 0.01 micrometres thick) explodes, forming a vapour bubble and expanding approximately 1,000 times

in volume. The fluid experiences a pressure pulse because of this volume expansion, resulting in the ejection of ink from the nozzle toward the paper downstream of the heater. The vapour bubble cools and bursts after a few microseconds. 


Then the surface strain of the ink meniscus in the spout pulls in additional ink from the supply to top off the spout in anticipation of the following drop to be launched out. Piezoelectric materials, which are crystalline materials that deform when high electric fields are applied to them, are used in the second pressure pulse technique. The most common configurations are: piezoelectric rods that lengthen when fields are applied, or bimorphs that bend (with a drum-head-like geometry).


Regardless of the circumstance, these materials are set up to deform one of the walls of the ink channel that connects each nozzle. The channel is squeezed by this deformation, which results in the ejection of ink from the nozzle and a pressure pulse. 


The crystalline piezoelectric materials are typically separated from the ink by means of an elastic diaphragm. Again, electrical pulses that last a few microseconds energize these piezoelectric elements. A variety of methods can be used to form the ink channels in a piezoelectric inkjet print head. One common method is to laminate a stack of metal plates with precision micro-fabricated features of varying shapes on each plate. There are a number of benefits and drawbacks to each method of creating pressure. 


A benefit of the thermal bubble method is that the heater resistors used are significantly smaller than piezoelectric elements. Heater resistors and electrical leads can also be made directly on a silicon chip that has integrated driving electronics and fluidic ink channels made by photo imageable polymer on its surface, which is another advantage. 

The thermal bubble method, on the other hand, boils a small amount of ink (approximately 1/1000th of the ink boils, vaporizes, and re-condenses during operation).The link must be designed to prevent thermal decomposition products from building up in the ink channels due to the boiling. 


Piezoelectric inkjets do not heat up the ink. However, in practice, inkjet printing inks have been developed that are suitable for both home and business inkjet printers and do not degrade when subjected to thermal bubble inkjet printer boiling. Therefore, aside from some extra care in the design of the ink components, ink boiling has not affected the performance of thermal bubble inkjet printing in the home or office.


During production, all inks used for ink jet printing are carefully filtered to remove any particles that could clog the nozzles and narrow channels. Upstream of the narrow channels, additional filters can be found in the fluid manifolds of ink jet printers. Most ink jet printing inks are water- based and contain either pigments (colored crystalline materials) or dyes (colored molecules).The inks used in ink jet printing are deceptively complex to design. 

When the ink lands on the paper, for instance, it should dry quickly, but it should not dry in the nozzle. In order to achieve the optimal balance of properties necessary for high image quality and robust operation, each ink typically requires a variety of additives.

A large cap covers all of the nozzles of the ink jet printer when it is not in use to prevent the ink from drying out and potentially clogging them. However, because the nozzles are all uncapped at that point, some of the individual nozzles may scan repeatedly across the page during operation without the need to print at all, depending on the image being printed. Every nozzle fires ink at regular intervals, sometimes even once per scan across the page, to prevent ink from drying in such conditions. 

The carriage is designed to scan well past one of the paper’s edges, where a waste ink receptacle fires the additional ink drops. A squeegee blade, similar to a windshield wiper, is also used to periodically wipe the ink jet print head’s nozzle plate to ensure that it is free of debris that could cause the ink jets to deflect.

The resolution of ink drops is typically 600 or 1200 dots per inch. Individual ink drop volumes typically range from 1 to 5 picoliters, resulting in printed spot sizes on paper of 10 to 20 micrometers in diameter. Colours of varying intensities are produced using halftone patterns with varying numbers of dots per unit area, which are less saturated than pure inks. 


The dot structure in these halftone patterns is made to be as obscure to the human eye as possible. The four primary colours that are typically printed are black in addition to the three subtractive primary colours—cyan, magenta, and yellow. Additionally, it is common practice to print light cyan, light magenta, and possibly grey for photographic images—all of which have lower concentrations of colourants than the primarily saturated inks. 


When printed with just the saturated inks, these light inks make it possible to significantly increase the smoothness of the lightly coloured parts of the image, resulting in significantly less image graininess in those areas.The exact arrangement of ink spots on the page is basic to accomplishing uniform tones without banding. Optical encoders control the precise position of the printed dots across and down the page. 


The three main components of an optical encoder are as follows: a photodetector, a light-emitting diode, and a transparent code wheel or strip between the light emitter and the detector.A long plastic code strip that spans the entire width of the print zone controls the ink jet carriage’s movement across the page. This code strip connects a light emitter and a detector on the moving carriage.


This plastic strip might appear to a casual observer to be nothing more than a flimsy piece of light grey plastic sheet, but it is actually one of the keys to the precision of the entire inkjet mechanism. It appears to be a uniform light grey colour from a distance because it is made up of a dense array of precisely printed black stripes on a thin sheet of clear plastic. 


The photodetector generates a synchronization pulse that controls the timing of the ink drop ejection as the carriage passes through each stripe. Even if there is some variation in the carriage velocity or if the carriage is accelerating or decelerating close to the beginning or end of its travel, these synchronization signals guarantee that the ink drops are printed in the correct locations.


Two different factors determine where the dots up and down the page are placed: the pitch of the nozzle and a second encoder. Spout pitch is the dispersing between the spouts on the carriage – as depicted over, this accuracy dividing is incorporated into the item by creating each of the spouts for some random variety in a solitary move toward a solitary planar sheet of material. The swath advance is the second factor: after each carriage pass across the paper, the precisely controlled distance of paper advance. The second encoder, which is mounted on the paper advance motor’s shaft and uses a disk-shaped code wheel with radial stripes, controls the advance distance.

Accurate swath advance can be achieved with this encoder without the use of mechanical systems or high precision motors.


On the plain, uncoated paper, which is commonly used for a wide range of documents, inkjet printers produce excellent prints. While special papers are utilized when the objective is to achieve the appearance of a photograph, photographic images can also be printed on plain paper. These photographic papers are coated with a very smooth surface and are thicker than regular paper. In addition, this surface layer can accommodate the ink jet ink’s fluid.

Laser Printer


The computer’s input is received by the laser printer’s laser diode, which typically transforms the electronic signal into an optical signal. The optical signal in this case is a laser beam with a lot of focus. A scanning motor that rotates in response to an input command from the computer makes up the printer’s scanning unit. 


The polygon mirror rotates at the same angle and with the same velocity as the scanning motor. The polygon mirror’s face absorbs and reflects the laser diode’s emitted light. The surface of the beam alignment lens receives the reflected light. 


The fundamental reason for the shaft arrangement focal point is to couple the mirrored beams of light to the toner cartridge unit of the laser printer. The printer’s toner cartridge unit is where the majority of the image’s development takes place. The ITR roller, the OPC drum, and the PCR roller are the three rollers in the toner cartridge. 


The light that enters the laser printer’s toner cartridge unit initially illuminates the OPC drum. The organic photoconductive drum, or OPC drum, is typically made of aluminium and has a cylinder shape. On its surface, it has a coating of a photoconductive layer. 


A positive supply is given to the OPC drum’s base, while a negative supply is given to the PCR. The abbreviation for primary charging roller is PCR. It can be found right next to the OPC drum in the toner cartridge unit. A negative charge is deposited on the OPC drum’s surface as a result of the attraction between charges of opposite polarity. The laser beam typically loses charge and becomes neutralized on the portion of the OPC drum on which it falls. This makes it easier to create an electrostatic image of the input document on the drum’s surface. 


The naked eye cannot see this electrostatic image. In nature, the characters in the electrostatic image are mirrored or reversed. On the other side of the OPC drum is a second roller known as an ITR, or image transfer roller. 

Another name for it is a magnetic rod. Toner powder covers the entire ITR. The toner typically receives a negative charge due to the rod’s magnetic nature. Negatively charged toner powder is deposited on the discharged or neutralized portions of the OPC drum as a result of the rollers constant rotation. 


As a result, a picture appears on the drum’s surface that can be clearly seen with the naked eye. The toner stays in its proper place thanks to the positive supply that is connected to the base of the OPC drum. The image that was created on the OPC drum can now be easily transferred to the paper’s surface. The transfer roller is used to carry out this image transfer. Outside of the printer cartridge, there is a positive supply for the transfer roller.

The OPC drum and transfer roller meet at the intersection when the paper is inserted into the machine. It is important to note that the image that has been transferred to the paper’s surface is only temporary and still requires processing. The laser printer’s fuser assembly unit is used to fix the characters in the input image to the paper. The pressure roller and the fuser roller are designed to meet at the paper’s intersection. 


Teflon material covers the fuser roller, which has a heating element. The paper is protected from fire by the Teflon coating on the fuser roller in the event that the heating element delivers too much heat. The temperature of the toner powder rises because of the heating element’s heat, causing it to melt. The pressure created by the pressure roller aids in the permanent fusion of the paper’s characters. The digital image’s printed version is then obtained.

3D Printers

The rapid prototyping and production method of 3D printing is extremely versatile. It has been making waves in numerous global industries over the past few decades. Additive manufacturing is a group of manufacturing technologies that includes 3D printing. This describes the process of layer-by-layer adding material to an object. Throughout its history, additive manufacturing has been referred to as stereolithography, 3D layering, and 3D printing, with the latter being the most well known.

The first step in 3D printing is to create a visual model of the object that will be printed. The majority of the time, these are designed using CAD software, which can be the most labor- intensive part of the process. TinkerCAD, Fusion360, and Sketch up are some of the applications used for this. 

These models are frequently put through extensive simulation testing for complex products to check for any potential flaws in the finished product. Obviously, if the item to be printed is absolutely enriching, this is less significant. The fact that anything can be quickly prototyped is one of the main advantages of 3D printing. 

Your imagination is the only real constraint. In fact, some things cannot be made using more conventional manufacturing or prototyping methods like CNC milling or molding because they are too complicated. In addition, it costs a lot

less than a lot of other traditional methods of production.

Digitally slicing the model for printing is the next step after design. Because a 3D printer cannot conceptualize a 3D model in the same way that you or I can, this is an essential step. The slicingprocess divides the model into many layers. After that, the design for each layer is sent to the printer head for sequential printing or laying down.


Most of the time, a specialized slicer program like CraftWare or Astroprint is used to finish the slicing process. If necessary, this slicer software will also handle the model’s &”fill” by constructing a lattice structure within a solid model to provide additional stability.


Additionally, 3D printers excel in this area. Through the strategically placed inclusion of air pockets within the finished product, they are able to print extremely strong materials at extremely low densities.Where required, support columns will also be added by the slicer software. Because the columns assist the printer in bridging the gaps, these are required because plastic cannot be laid down in thin air. If necessary, these columns are then taken down later.

LED Printer


LED printers typically offer some additional advantages over laser printers. In contrast to laser printers, these printers use a light-emitting diode in the printhead, which is very similar to laser printers.


In 1990, the OKI Company introduced the first LED printers, which were followed by Casio. It works by focusing light along the drum’s entire length, creating areas that are less charged and attract toner. The printer then transfers the ink toner to the paper. LED printers are not as popular as inkjet and laserjet series printers due to lower demand.


Similar to laser printers, LED printers use a surface-mounted photoreceptive drum that is effectively charged by a high-voltage static wire. On the other hand, a strip of LEDs above or below the drum is what causes an LED printer’s negative static charge. The LEDs pattern of light strikes the positive charge drum, erasing the charge where it falls; leaving a negative charge in the image of the page that is being printed. The drum is then coated with positively charged powdered printer toner, which adheres to the negative charge formed by the LEDs.


A separate high voltage cable gives the paper a positive charge when it reaches the mechanism of the printer. This cable absorbs toner from the negatively charged areas where the paper was stuck when it was forced past the printing drum. The toner adheres to the page as the sheet of paper moves between two heated rollers before exiting the printer. After a lengthy diagnostic process, if your laser printer displays technical errors, you should visit the printer offline webpage to obtain excellent solutions.

Solid Ink Printers

Solid printer inks are still relatively unknown to many people despite their invention almost 30 years ago and introduction to the market in 1991. Many people view the inks with some apprehension due to their unusual design. However, the technology has a number of advantages, including a low ownership cost and a low level of waste.


To dispel some of the misconceptions and myths surrounding the technology, we explain in detail how solid inks actually function in this section. The first thing to keep in mind is that solid inks can only be used in printers with solid ink. As a result, it does not make sense to buy the inks and try to force them into your laser or inkjet printer.


 XEROX currently hold something of a market monopoly because they are the sole major manufacturer of solid ink prints. In the same way that traditional ink cartridges do, replacement solid inks simply fit into a printer tray. The ink, on the other hand, does not require protective packaging due to its solid nature.

The sticks are safe to handle and completely non-toxic.The solid ink sticks typically adhere to the CMYK model and are available in black, cyan,magenta, and yellow. A solid ink printer will heat up and melt the ink sticks when printing. To ensure that no ink is wasted during the process, the intelligent CPU system will determine the required quantity of each tone. Similar to inkjet printers, the Printhead nozzles are used to apply the ink to the paper in the desired pattern.

The solid ink freezes almost immediately upon contact with the paper, eliminating the possibility of ink running or smudging during printing. The ink adheres to the surface of the paper, perfectly resting atop all types of paper.

Dot Matrix Printers

An electromagnet propels a metal rod, also known as a “wire” or “pin” forward in a dot matrix printer. A print head that moves horizontally is used in dot matrix printers. A single vertical column of seven or more pins about the height of a character box makes up the print head. Dot matrix printers with moving heads can print at speeds ranging from 50 to 550 characters per minute. These printers can produce carbon and non-carbon copies due to the mechanical pressure used in printing.

Multifunction or All-in-One Printers

A business printer that can be used in both the office and the computer room at home is a useful tool. When looking into purchasing a new all-in-one printer, knowing what features to look for can help you select a model that is better suited to your requirements. 

Some features of a printer help all of the printer’s functions work better, while others make one function, like faxing, work well. Printers that are basic are easy to use and not too expensive to be considered disposable. However, printers of a higher quality offer a variety of additional features to increase their adaptability. 

A single multifunction printer can take the place of multiple other office equipment for entrepreneurs with home offices or small to medium-sized businesses. In practice, good 5-in-1 printers are durable enough to last for years and can be inexpensive enough to

replace easily, despite the risk that this poses—if it fails, you lose everything.


In the past, a single all-in-one business printer was required to perform the functions of a printer, fax machine, copier, and scanner. These “all-in-one” printers offer a variety of additional features in addition to printing, earning their name. Wireless models can communicate with your computer even without being physically connected. Purchasing a new printer for your small or medium-sized business may appear to be a straightforward process until you consider the numerous options involved: Should you go with an all-in-one printer or a standalone one? 


Laser or inkjet? Monochrome or color? Do you require large input trays, two-sided printing, or collating? What about Wi-Fi? Instead of using an inkjet printer at home for occasional photo printing, many small and medium- sized businesses today choose laser printers for large-volume jobs. The multifunction printers can also scan, copy, and fax at the same time. A flat lid covers and safeguards the flatbed scanner’s glass platen on a 5-in-1 printer. Software for scanning is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. 


Major applications like Microsoft Office and Open Office/Libre Office scan directly into a document. Additionally, the manufacturer of the printer may include a standalone scanning program with the device or offer it as a free download with additional features. It can be very useful to be able to scan books, invoices, business letters, and other hardcopy documents. This saves space and makes it easy to find what you need. It is particularly useful for incoming faxes that require a signature and return to the sender.


Even though email and instant messaging have made faxes less important, they are still a good way to send original documents. Modern plain-paper faxes are essentially telephony-enabled laser or inkjet printers; consequently, the manufacturer has no trouble incorporating fax functionality into a multifunction laser or inkjet. 


Like other faxes, a 5-in-1 printer can scan and send original documents. It can also fax a document from a computer to a fax machine, eliminating the need for a printout. By manually dialing the number and placing a document on the scanner platen, faxes can also be sent from the printer itself.  A telephone line needs to be connected to the printer. For low to moderate usage, multifunction printers are also highly effective copiers. Any five-in-one printer can successfully scan and print a document. 

A multifunction printer might be just what your business needs if it cannot afford to rent or buy a full-time photocopier but still needs copying capabilities. Laser machines are capable of supporting higher copying volumes, and their toner is typically less expensive and lasts longer than that of inkjet models. In contrast, inkjet models are typically designed for low-volume copying. Like a standalone copier, higher-end models support duplex printing, which allows for simultaneous copying of both sides of a page.

Having a powerful, versatile printer for everyone’s computer is the only thing better than having one for your own computer. Multifunction 5-in-1 printers are made to be connected to a network,allowing specific computers on the network to use their features.  Either a router or printers with an Ethernet connection can be connected to a hardwired network. Similar to laptops, other printers are designed for wireless networking and can connect using 802.11 g/n protocols. 

A single multifunction printer can serve everyone in a small business or provide non-printing features to a number of people who only use basic printers for routine printing.In smaller businesses, where desk space and technology investments must both be maximized,

all-in-one printers have gained popularity. However, when researching and selecting an all-in-one printer (also known as a multifunction machine), the numerous models, features, and functions can be confusing. 


When making a purchase decision, there is a lot to consider, from features like flatbed scanners and resolution to functionality like printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.When looking into buying an all-in-one printer, the first thing you should ask is what features it needs to have. In addition to being a printer, all in ones typically include features for copying, scanning, and faxing.


Naturally, pricing pressures are never-ending for manufacturers. When they add other features to a unit, like fax services, they frequently have to compromise the quality of the print and scan engines to keep prices competitive. As a result, you should carefully consider the functions that the all-in-one must provide for your business. You can reduce the cost of the unit while increasing the likelihood that the features you do get will be of a higher quality by choosing a unit that only has the functions that are absolutely necessary and omitting functions that are not necessary.


Printing photos is another feature offered by some all-in-one printers. Make sure the model you select supports photo printing if you frequently print photos of high quality. These models ought to be able to print on a variety of photo paper sizes, including 4 x 6, 5 x 7, and 8 x 10, as well as at least 4,800 x 1,200 pixels of color.

Thermal printer 

A thermal printer will probably never be available to the typical homeowner. Businesses and retail establishments that require a POS (point of sale) receipt printer are among the primary applications for thermal printers today. Fax machines or multifunction printers in some offices may use thermal technology. There are two ways thermal printers work: older models use heat-sensitive paper by sticking the end of a roll into a slot inside the machine and storing it in a container. The pigments transfer the image onto the sheet when the machine’s built-up heat interacts with the heat-sensitive paper.

Ribbon printer cartridges are used with newer machines. A waxy substance is stored within the ribbon cartridge. Paper is fed through a slot between the print head and a roller of the printer, where heat melts the substance and sticks it to the paper. Thermal printing does have a few distinct advantages, despite the fact that it is commonly thought of as a printer only for specific applications. The cost is the first benefit; Thermal printers are reasonably affordable. 


Second, thermal printers are generally simple to operate. Most of the time, all that is required to operate a thermal printer is a few buttons. The fact that they are quiet printers means that they will not bother customers or coworkers in the office. Others will contend that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. One problem with thermal printers is that they use ink very inefficiently. Since these machines run on heat, more ink will come out if the machine gets too hot while being used. 


This connects to the second issue, which is that not all prints are accurate. Thermal prints are prone to smudges because even the heat from a person’s fingers can cause the paper to react. The third drawback of thermal printers is that they almost exclusively print in monochrome. Carbon pigmented ink makes up the majority of the ink used in thermal printers, but it does not work well with color. Thermal printers use more wax-based cartridges to print colors. 


Additionally related to heat is the final drawback of thermal printers. The printhead can be damaged by the high heat used in the printing process, which costs owners money to fix when the machine breaks down.


A plotter is a computer hardware device that prints vector graphics, like a printer. Plotters draw multiple, continuous lines on paper with a pen, pencil, marker, or other writing instrument instead of a series of dots like those that a traditional printer does. For printing, there are two main types of plotters: Plotter with a drum and flatbed.


The paper is fixed on a flatbed plotter, and the plotter moves a pen left, right, and up to make the necessary marks on the form. The drum rotates the paper left and right while the pen moves up and down on the Drum Plotter. Because of this, drum plotters are able to take up less space than the final paper size. Additionally, plotters allow for the use of multiple pens, making it possible to draw a variety of colors.



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